Valve’s Steam Deck, The Switch Killer

Valve has announced the Steam Deck, Steam’s take on portable gaming handheld, and what I would call the “Nintendo Switch Killer”.

The device itself includes a Quadcore Zen 2 CPU/APU with eight threads and eight compute units worth of AMD RDNA 2 graphics with 16GB of RAM. it includes 3 different storage options: 64GB eMMC storage for $399, 256GB NVMe SSD storage for $529, and 512GB of high-speed NVME SSD storage for $649. Valve also specifies that you can expand the storage by adding a high speed Micro SD Card.

The battery onboard is a 40 watt-hour battery that can provide several hours of play time for most games. Valve says that “For lighter use cases like game streaming, smaller 2D games, or web browsing, you can expect to get the maximum battery life of approximately 7-8 hours.” Valve tells IGN  that “You can play Portal 2  for four hours on this thing. If you limit it to 30 FPS, you’re going to be playing for 5-6 hours.”

Reservations for all three versions initially will be available only to accounts with purchases on Steam before June 2021, this is probably an attempt to stop botting. You will also be asked to pay a refundable $5 reservation fee, and it will be limited to one reservation per person. Valve does say that this reservation fee will not guarantee you the handheld, but it does put you in line to preorder the system once there’s inventory available.

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